If Your AC uses R-22, Now is the Time to Upgrade

Attention Cornelius, NC homeowners! If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it may use the ozone-depleting refrigerant R-22. This product is currently being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency and many other agencies worldwide under the Montreal Protocol.

The signees of the Montreal Protocol have been phasing out R-22 since 2003. Restrictions on R-22 production and importation went into effect in 2010 and will be complete by 2020. After 2020, only stockpiled and recycled forms of R-22 will be available for sale in the US.

What Does the R-22 Ban Mean for Me?

First and foremost, the phaseout means R-22 will be available in limited supply. As supply becomes constrained, costs will increase for the homeowners that use it. Only EPA-certified technicians will be able to access recycled forms of the material, placing an additional strain on consumers. And this is just the economics side of the equation; don’t forget that R-22 also depletes the ozone and carries certain health and environmental costs.

Does my AC Unit Use R-22?

Most air conditioners installed prior to January 1, 2010, use R-22. If you’re not sure, take a look at the nameplate, which is likely on the outdoor condenser. The information may also be found in the instruction manual. If you can’t find the answer on your own, contact a service specialist for assistance.

What Do I Do if My Unit Uses R-22?

If your AC unit uses R-22, the best thing to do is to replace it with new equipment. We know it can be frustrating and costly, but replacing the unit is the safest and most economical option. Some technicians may suggest retrofitting your existing unit to use R-410a, but the two substances are very different, and the upgrade is significant. You would have to replace most of your AC unit, anyway, and would eventually still need to buy a new unit. Also, retrofitting would void the equipment’s warranty.

Buying a new AC system is a big investment, but one the reliable HVAC specialists at Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning can help you make the most of it. Give us a call today at (704) 285-1070 for more information or to schedule a system replacement.

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